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Top Five IIoT Predictions for 2018

FogHorn Systems' CTO shares his predictions for the Industrial IoT in the coming year, regarding momentum, security, OT-IT convergence, standards, and business value propelling adoption.
By Sastry Malladi

4. IT and OT teams will collaborate for successful IIoT deployments.
IIoT deployments will start forcing closer engagement between information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) teams. Line-of-business leaders will get more serious in terms of investing in digitization, and IT will become the cornerstone required for the success of these initiatives. What was considered a wide gap between the IT and OT sectors will bridge thanks to the recognized collaboration needed to successfully deploy IIoT solutions and initiatives.

And will OT design affect IIoT apps? Yes, definitely. Recent research and field studies suggest that analytics tools are being made more accessible to end users—that is, domain experts and plant operators. This means that advanced technology is now being made available to field workers, so operational decisions can be driven in real time at the industrial location.

5. Edge computing will reduce security vulnerabilities for IIoT assets.
While industries do recognize the impact of an IIoT security breach, there is surprisingly little implementation of specific solutions. This stems from two emerging trends:
• Traditional IT security vendors are still repositioning their existing products to address IIoT security concerns.
• A number of new entrants are developing targeted security solutions that are specific to a layer in the stack, or to a particular vertical market.

This creates the expectation that, if and when an event occurs, these two classes of security solutions are sufficient. Often, IoT deployments are considered greenfield and emerging, so these security breaches still seem very futuristic, even though they are happening now.

Consequently, there is little acceleration to deploy security solutions, and most leaders seem to employ a wait-and-watch approach. The good news is major security threats, like WannaCry, Petya/Goldeneye and BadRabbit, do resurface IIoT security concerns during the regular news cycle. However, until security solutions are more targeted and evoke trust, they may not help move the needle.

Sastry Malladi, FogHorn's CTO, came to the company with extensive experience in developing and designing highly scalable and distributed systems in the areas of big data, SOA, microservices architecture and cloud computing. As CTO, Sastry is responsible for overseeing all technology and product strategy and development. Before joining FogHorn, he was the chief architect of StubHub, an eBay company, where he led the technology architecture transformation and also spearheaded big-data initiatives and data-driven decisions. Sastry was also a key technology executive at eBay, leading the technology re-platforming effort from its monolithic architecture to the distributed and scalable service-oriented architecture that it is today.

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